Timber is a valuable natural resource that serves directly as material for use in the construction, paper and furniture industries. Ghana’s forest area is estimated to be 9.17 million hectares with 2.5 million hectares in reserve. Though over the years Ghana’s timber exports thrived to a great extent, in the recent years the revenue earned from timber has shrunk.
In the first half of 2020, Ghana’s timber trade generated Euro 44.79 million. Year-on-year there has been a 40% decline in volume and a 42% decline in exports. As a country where timber has been known to be the third most exported commodity in 2010, the following factors account for the downward trail;
- There is a curb in the export of raw logs and most of the country’s timber is used domestically. Otherwise, Ghana’s timber has a big market in Africa, India and China
- There is a decrease in the volume of timber exports to the EU countries and the U.S. as those countries are environmentally sensitive
- Deforestation has been taken as a major concern and tight restrictions have been imposed in Ghana to save its forests
Taking the environmental aspect into consideration, there is an imperative need to control illegal trade of timber in Ghana.